Graduation from the relish tray

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house not a creature was stirring….except
for the family drunk. She stayed out longer than she intended…again! This year was going to be
different, last year was a disaster! But all her friends were having a Christmas Eve party, she had to go,
it wouldn’t be the same without her, she’s the life of the party you know! She was only going to stay for
a little while. Then just as she was leaving Charlie and Susie showed up, she hasn’t seen them in months,
she had to catch up. And Charlie brought cocaine, Charlie’s the best! She leaves at 4am, Charlie gives her
a little bump for in the morning, she has family Christmas obligations and she has to bring the relish tray,
everyone is counting on her.
She comes to at one thirty, what happened to the alarm! She has to be there by two, dinner is at
three, and she still has to make the relish tray. Guess she will have to skip the shower and just wear a
Santa hat. She needs some hair of the dog, her hands are shaking so bad she can’t get the toothpaste on
the toothbrush. Oh yea and the present from Charlie, good ole Charlie! She’s trying to balance her
elbows on the vanity so she can get her eye makeup on, then she stabs herself in the eye with her
mascara! Damn! Oh that’s ok, that will be her excuse for being late! One more big swig off the bottle
and I’ll be ready to go.
Thank God Albertsons is open on Christmas; she buys olives, pickles, and a wide variety of
veggies. (She forgets the ranch dressing again) She pulls up at 2:45, better than last year when she didn’t
make it until four; her car had broken down again. Now where did she put that bottle? This is going to
take at least a couple of hours and she can’t risk the shakes, she promised she wouldn’t drink this year.
She waltzes in and asks her brother for a tray and cutting board. She apologizes for being late
and goes into a long sorted tale about poking herself in the eye and having to start all over with her
morning routine after her eye stopped bleeding and watering all over the place. She’s almost done with
the relish tray when it’s announced that dinner is ready. She tells them that she has to run out to the car
because she can’t find the ranch; it must have fallen out of the bag.
While looking for the ranch she spots the bottle. She knows she shouldn’t take a drink because
she is sure they already suspect she’s been drinking, but alas she can’t stop herself, and she over shoots
the mark yet again. She grabs a breath mint that she keeps in the center console for the countless times
she has been pulled over by law enforcement. She has already had six DIU’s and if she gets another one
she will be a felon and go to prison. She knows this, yet she does it again and again. She promises her
family that she won’t come to family functions when she’s been drinking, yet she’s done it again.
She is now ten years sober, her family is so proud. She got her GED in prison then went to
college and got a Social Work degree. Put for her, the greatest achievement is graduating from the relish
tray to something a little more meaningful like pie or the all important green bean casserole. It did
however take her family about five years before they would trust her with such an important job. It can
be done and trust takes time, she didn’t lose the trust overnight and she didn’t get it back overnight
either. Merry Christmas- Dianna M.